Archive for "Jan 2010"

Avatar's Success: Romantic Narratives and Dark Green Religion

Earlier this week various news outlets reported that Avatar has surpassed Titanic as the highest grossing film in history. (For a different take on its place in cinema box office see this article.) This tremendous response by viewing audiences might have gone the other direction. With all the pre-release hype coming from James Cameron, and […]

Caprica: Television, Tech, and the Sacred

Caprica, the new science fiction television series on the SyFy Channel, recently debuted, and it continues to generate positive commentary. The series is a prequel to the successful Battlestar Galactica series from the same network, a reworking of the campy 1970s series. Religion Dispatches assembled a group of scholars who shared their thoughts on Caprica […]

Mary Y. Hallab: Vampire God

One of the helpful features of is its "Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought..." recommendations. In a quest for new research and discussion topics using this feature I came across a book by Mary Y. Hallab, titled Vampire God: The Allure of the Undead in Western Culture (SUNY Press, 2009). I'm glad I […]

The Democratic Party: Quiet Dignity and Grace

I saw an interview today with Dr. Lamont Hill, professor at Columbia University, who was providing commentary as a progressive on the current in-fighting and blame casting going on within the Democratic Party as a result of the Martha Coakley defeat in Massachusetts which Hill did not seem surprised by. My mind immediately went to […]

The Old Hag: Sleep Paralysis, Spirituality, and Pop Culture

Regular readers of TheoFantastique may recall previous mention of a phenomenon called sleep paralysis in connection with posts on Diary of a Madman, and The Fourth Kind. Given the significance of this phenomenon in the lives of many individuals, and its influence in various aspects of pop culture, I will explore this topic in the […]

Avatar Surpasses Star Wars in Domestic Box Office

It had to happen eventually given the increasing and continued popularity of the fantastic in popular culture, and advances in special effects and digital wizardry on screen. MSN Entertainment is reporting that Avatar has now surpassed Star Wars for all-time domestic box office receipts at $491.8 million, moving into the number three spot. This means […]

Themes of the Films of James Cameron: Call for Papers

The Popular Culture and American Culture Associations recently circulated a call for papers on the themes of the films of James Cameron: With Avatar Canadian-born filmmaker James Cameron now has the top two all-time money making films in history, yet little in the way of critical attention has been paid to his work. His movies […]

Avatar's Pandora Depresses Some Viewers: Utopia, Escape and the Realized Ideal

A recent article at CNN Entertainment presents some disturbing viewer reactions to James Cameron's Avatar. In a piece titled "Audiences experience 'Avatar' blues," Jo Piazza reports that some audience members have become seriously depressed and even suicidal after watching the film when contrasting the real-world situation of Earth with the beauty of the science fiction/fantasy […]

Whitt and Perlich: Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Millennial Mythmaking

In the past I had an opportunity to interview David Whitt and John Perlich with the first book they co-edited, Sith, Slayers, Stargates and Cyborgs: Modern Mythology and the New Millennium (Peter Lang Publishers, 2007). Dr. David Whitt is Associate Professor of Communication at Nebraska Wesleyan University, and Dr. John Perlich is Associate Professor of […]

The Twilight Zone, Global Warming, and "The Midnight Sun"

One of the things I look forward to each New Year's eve is the 48-hour Twilight Zone marathon on the Syfy Channel. With the close of 2009 and the shift into 2010 I spent several hours catching all the episodes I could and marveled again at how this series still holds up some fifty years […]

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